compofition which will laft for ever.

do I much doubt but had we a true account of N° 594. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 15. • the wonders the hero laft mentioned performed in his fleep, his conquering this little globe would hardly be worth mentioning. I may affirm, without vanity, that when I compare feveral actions in Quintus Curtius with fome others in my own noctuary, I appear the greater hero of the two.'


I fhall close this subject with observing, that while we are awake we are at liberty to fix our thoughts on what we please, but in fleep we have not the command of them. The ideas which ftrike the fancy, arife in us without our choice. either from the occurrences of the day past, the temper we lie down in, or it may be the direction of fome fuperior being.

It is certain the imagination may be fo differently affected in fleep, that our actions of the day might be either rewarded or punished with a little age of happiness or mifery. St. Auftin was of opinion, that if in Paradife there was the fame viciffitude of fleeping and waking as in the prefent world, the dreams of its inhabitants would be very happy.

And fo far at prefent our dreams are in our power, that they are generally conformable to our waking thoughts, fo that it is not impoffible to convey ourselves to a concert of mufic, the converfation of distant friends, or any other entertainment which has been before lodged in the mind.

My readers, by applying these hints, will find the neceffity of making a good day of it, if they heartily with themselves a good night.

I have often confidered Marcia's prayer, and Lucius's account of Cato, in this light.

"Marc. O ye immortal powers, that guard
"the juft,

"Watch round his couch, and foften his repofe,
"Banif his forrows, and becalm his foul
"With easy dreams; remember all his virtues,
"And fhew mankind that goodness is your care.
"Luc. Sweet are the flumbers of the virtuous


O Marcia, I have seen thy god-like father; "Some power invisible supports his foul, "And bears it up in all its wonted greatness. "A kind refreshing sleep is fallen upon him: "I faw him ftretch'd at ease, his fancy loft "In pleafing dreams; as I drew near his couch, "He fmil'd and cry'd, Cæfar, thou canst not "hurt me."


Mr. Shadow acquaints me in a poftfcript, that he has no manner of title to the vifion which fucceeded his firft letter; but adds, that as the gentleman who wrote it, dreams very fenfibly, he fhall be glad to meet him fome night or other under the great elm tree, by which Virgil has given us a fine metaphorical image of fleep, in order to turn over a few of the leaves together, and oblige the public with an account of the dreams that lie under them.

-Abfentem qui rodit amicum;
Qui non defendit alio culpante; folutos
Qui captat rifus hominum, famamque dicacis;
Fingere qui non vifa poteft; commiffa tacere
Qui nequit; bic niger eft: bunc tu, Romane, caveto
HOR. Sat. 4. 1. 1. ver. 81.

[blocks in formation]


ERE all the vexations of life put together, we should find that a great part of them proceed from thofe calumnies and reproaches which we fpread abroad concerning one another.

There is scarce a man living who is not, in fome degree, guilty of this offence; though at the fame time, however we treat one another, it must be confeffed, that we all confent in fpeaking ill of the perfons who are notorious for this practice. It generally takes its rife either from an ill-will to mankind, a private inclination to make ourselves efteemed, an oftentation of wit, a vanity of being thought in the fecrets of the world, or from a defire of gratifying any of these difpofitions of mind in those perfons with whom we converfe.

The publisher of scandal is more or lefs odious to mankind, and criminal in himself, as he is influenced by any one or more of the foregoing motives. But whatever may be the occafion of fpreading thefe falfe reports, he ought to confider, that the effect of them is equally prejudi. cial and pernicious to the perfon at whom they are aimed. The injury is the fame, though the principle from whence it proceeds may be different.

As every one looks upon himself with too much indulgence, when he paffes a judgment on his own thoughts or actions, and as a very few would be thought guilty of this abominable proceeding, which is fo univerfally practifed, and at the fame time, fo univerfally blamed, I shall lay down three rules by which I would have a man examine and fearch into his own heart, before he ftands acquitted to himself of that evil difpofition of mind which I am here mentioning.

First of all, let him confider whether he does not take delight in hearing the faults of others.

Secondly, Whether he is not too apt to believe fuch little blackening accounts, and more inclined to be credulous on the uncharitable than on the good-natured fide.

Thirdly, Whether he is not ready to spread and propagate fuch reports as tend to the difreputa

tion of another.

Thefe are the feveral steps by which this vice proceeds, and grows up into flander and defa


In the first place, a man who takes delight in hearing the faults of others, fhews fufficiently that he has a true relifh of fcandal, and confequently the feeds of this vice within him. If his mind is gratified with hearing the reproaches

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

which are caft on others, he will find the fame pleasure in relating them, and be the more apt to do it, as he will naturally imagine every one he converfes with is delighted in the fame manner with himself. A man should endeavour therefore to wear out of his mind this criminal curiofity, which is perpetually heightened and inflamed by listening to fuch ftories as tend to the difreputation of others.

In the fecond place, a man should confult his own heart, whether he be not apt to believe fuch little blackening accounts, and more inclined to be credulous on the uncharitable, than on the good-natured fide.

Such a credulity is very vicious in itself, and generally arifes from a man's confcioufnefs of his own fecret corruptions. It is a pretty fayng of Thales, "Falthood is juft as far diftant "from truth, as the ears are from the eyes." By which he would intimate, that a wife man fhould not easily give credit to the report of actions which he has not feen. I fhall, under this head, mention two or three remarkable rules to be obferved by the members of the celebrated Abbey de la Trappe, as they are published in a

little French book.

The fathers are there ordered, never to give an ear to any accounts of bafe or criminal actions; to turn off all fuch difcourfe if poffible; but in cafe they hear any thing of this nature fo well attefted that they cannot disbelieve it, they are then to fuppofe, that the criminal action may have proceeded from a good intention in him who is guilty of it. This is, perhaps, carrying charity to an extravagance, but it is certainly much more laudable, than to fuppofe, as the ill natured part of the world does, that indifferent and even good actions proceed from bad principles and wrong intentions.

In the third place, a man fhould examine his heart, whether he does not find in it a fecret inclination to propagate fuch reports, as tend to the difreputation of another.


When the difeafe of the mind, which I have hitherto been fpeaking of arifes to this degree of malignity, it difcovers itfelf, in its worft fymptom, and is in danger of becoming incurable. need not therefore infift upon the guilt in this laft particular, which every one cannot but difapprove, who is not void of humanity, or even common difcretion. I fhall only add, that whatever pleasure any man may take in fpreading whispers of this nature, he will find an infinitely greater fatisfaction in conquering the temptation he is under, by letting the fecret die within his own breast.

-Non ut placidis cocant immitia, non ut
Serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 12,

-Nature, and the common laws of fenfe, Forbid to reconcile antipathies; Or make a snake engender with a dove, And hungry tigers court the tender lambs. Rofcommon.


ordinary authors would condefçend to write as they think, they would at least be allowed the praife of being intelligible. But they really take pains to be ridiculous; and, by the ftudied

ornaments of file, perfectly difguife the little fenfe they aim at. There is a grievance of this fort in the commonwealth of letters, which I have for fome time refolved to redrefs, and accordingly I have fet this day apart for juftice. What I mean is the mixture of inconfiftent metaphors, which is a fault but too often found in learned writers, but in all the unlearned without exception.

In order to fet this matter in a clear light to every reader, I fhall in the first place observe, that a metaphor is a fimile in one word, which ferves to convey the thoughts of the mind under refemblances and images which affect the fenfes. There is not any thing in the world, which may not be compared to feveral things if confidered in feveral diftinet Lights; or, in other words, the fame thing may be expreffed by different metaphors. But the mifchief is, that an unskilful author fhall run their metaphors fo abfurdly into one another, that there fhall be no fimile, no agreeable picture, no apt refemblance, but confufion, obfcurity, and noife. Thus I have known a hero compared to a thunderbolt, a lion, and the fea; all and each of them proper metaphors for impetuofity, courage, or force. But by bad management it hath fo happened, that the thunder-bolt hath overflowed its banks; the lion hath been darted through the skies, and the billows have rolled out of the Libyan defart.

The abfurdity in this inftance is obvious. And yet every time that clashing metaphors are put together, the fault is committed more or lefs. It hath already been said, that metaphors are images of things which affect the senses. An image, therefore, taken from what acts upon the fight, cannot, without violence, be applied to the hearing; and fo of the reft. It is no lefs an impropriety to make any being in nature or art to do things in its metaphorical state, which it could not do in its original. I fhall illuftrate what I have faid by an inftance which I have read more than once in controverfial writers. The heavy lashes," faith a celebrated author, that have dropped 'from your pen, &c.' I fuppofe this gentleman having frequently heard of gall dropping from



a pen, and being lashed in a fatire,' he was refolved to have them both at any rate, and fo uttered this complete piece of nonfenfe. It will most-effectually difcover the abfurdity of these monftrous unions, if we will fuppofe these metaphors or images actually painted. Imagine then a hand holding a pen, and feveral lashes of whipcord falling from it, and you have the true reprefentation of this fort of eloquence. I believe, by this very rule, a reader may be able to judge of the union of all metaphors whatfoever, and determine which are homogeneous, and which heterogeneous; or to speak more plainly, which are confiftent, and which inconfiftent.

There is yet one evil more which I must take notice of, and that is the running of metaphors into tedious allegories; which, though an error on the better hand, caufes confufion as much as the other. This becomes abominable, when the luftre of one word leads a writer out of his road, and makes him wander from his fubject for a page together. I remember a young fellow, of this turn, who having faid by chance that his mistress had a world of charms, thereupon took occafion to confider her as one poffeffed of frigid and torrid zones, and pursued her from the one pole to the other,

I shall conclude this paper with a letter written in that enormous ftile, which I hope my reader hath by this time fet his heart against. The epiftle hath heretofore received great applaufe; but after what hath been faid, let any man commend it if he dare.



FTER the many heavy lahes that have fallen from your pen, you may justly expect in return all the load that my ink can lay upon your fhoulders. You have quartered all the foul language upon me, that could be raked out of the air of Billingfgate, without knowing who I am, or whether I deferve to be cupped and facrificed at this rate. I tell you once for all, turn your eyes where you please, you shall 6 never fmell me out. Do you think that the panics, which you fow about the parish, will ever build a monument to your glory? No, Sir, you may fight thefe battles as long as you will, but when you come to balance the ac< count you will find that you have been fishing in troubled waters, and that an ignis fatuus hath bewildered you, and that indeed you have built upon a fandy foundation, and brought your hogs to a fair market.



"I am, Sir,

[ocr errors]


Yours, &c.

N° 596. MONDAY, SEPT. 20.

Molle meum levibus cor eft violable telis.
OVID. Ep. 15. ver. 79.
Cupid's light darts my tender bosom move.

[ocr errors]



HE cafe of my correfpondent. who fends me the following letter, has fomewhat in it fo very whimsical, that I know not how to entertain my readers better than by laying it before them.



how to give you fo good an idea of me, as by laying before you the hiftory of my life. 'I can very well remember, that at my school'miftrefs's, whenever we broke up, I was always for joining myfelf with the mifs who lay-in, and was conftantly one of the first to make a party in the play of husband and wife. This paffion for being well with the females ftill increased as I advanced in years. At the dancing-fchool I contracted fo many quarrels by ftruggling with my fellow-fcholars for the partner I liked beft, that upon a ball-night, before our mothers made their appearance, I was ufually up to the nofe in blood. My father, like a difcreet man, foon removed me from this stage of foftnefs to a fchool of difcipline, where I learnt Latin and Greek. I underwent feveral feverities in this place, until it was thought convenient to fend me to the university; though, to confefs the truth, I fhould not have arrived fo early at that feat of learning, but from the difcovery of an intrigue between me and my mafter's houfe-keeper; upon whom I had employed my rhetoric fo effectually, that though the was a very elderly lady, I had almost brought her to confent to marry me. Upon my arrival at Oxford, I found logic fo dry, that, instead of giving attention to the dead, I 'foon fell to addreffing the living. My first



amour was with a pretty girl whom I fhall 'call Parthenope: her mother fold 'ale by 'the town-wall. Being often caught there by the proctor, I was forced at laft, that my 'miftrefs's reputation might receive no ble

mish, to confefs my addreffes were honourable. Upon this I was immediately fent home; but Parthenope foon after marrying a hoemaker, I was again fuffered to return. My next affair was with my taylor's daughter, who deferted me for the fake of a young barber. Up



on my complaining to one of my particular friends of this misfortune, the cruel wag 'made a mere jeft of my calamity, and asked


me with a fmile, Where the needie should turn but to the pole? After this I was deeply in love with a millener, and at laft with my bed-maker, upon which I was fent away, or in the University phrafe, rufticated for


$ ever.




Am fully convinced that there is not upon earth a more impertinent creature than an importunate lover; we are daily complaining of the feverity of our fate, to people who are wholly unconcerned in it; and hourly improving a paffion, which we would perfuade the world is the torment of our lives. Notwithstanding this reflexion, Sir, I cannot forbear acquainting you with my own cafe. You must know then, Sir, that even from my childhood, the moft prevailing inclination 1 could perceive in myfelf, was a frong defire to be in favour with the fair fex. I am at prefent in the one and twentieth year of my < age, and thould have made choice of a the. bedfellow many years fince, had not my father, who has a pretty good'eftate of his own getting, and patred in the world for a prudent man, been pleafed to lay it down as a maxim, That nothing fpoils a young fellow's fortune fo much as marrying early; and that no man ought to think of wedlock until fix and twenty. Knowing his fentiments upon this head, I thought it in vain to apply myself to women of condition, who expect fettlements; fo that all my amours have hitherto been with Ladies who had no fortunes: but I know not

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Upon my coming home, I fettled to my ftudies fo heartily, and contracted fo great a refervednefs by being kept from the company I most affected, that my father thought he I might venture me at the Temple.



Within a week after my arrival I began to 'fhine again, and became enamoured with a mighty pretty creature, who had every thing but money to recommend her. Having frequent opportunities of uttering all the foft things which an heart formed for love could infpire me with, I foon gained her confent to treat of marriage; but unfortunately for us all, in the abfence of my charmer I ufually talked the fame language to her eldest fifter, 'who is alfo very pretty. Now, I affure you, Mr. Spectator, this did not proceed from any real affection I had conceived for her; but being a perfect ftranger to the converfation of men, and frongly addicted to affociate with the women, I knew no other language but that of love. I should however be very much obliged to you, if you could free me from

f the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



the perplexity I am at prefent in. I have fent word to my old gentleman in the country, that I am defperately in love with the younger fifter; and her father, who knew no better, poor man, acquainted him by the fame poft, that I had for forme time made my addreffes to the elder. Upon this old Tefty fends me up word, that he has heard' fo much of my exploits, that he intends immediately to order me to the South Sea. Sir, I have occafionally talked fo much of dying, that I begin to think there is not much in it; and if the old fquire perfifts in his defign, I do hereby give him notice that I am providing myself with proper instruments for the deftruction of defpairing lovers; let him therefore look to it, and confider that by his obftinacy he may himfelf lofe the fon of his ftrength, the world an hopeful lawyer, my miftrefs a paffionate lover, and you, Mr. Spectator,

Your conftant admirer,

Middle Temple, Sept. 18.

The next is a public fpirited gentleman, who tells me, that on the fecond of September at night the whole city was on fire, and would certainly have been reduced to afhes again by this time, if he had not flown over it with the New River on his back, and happily extinguished the flames before they had prevailed too far. He would be informed whether he has not a

N° 597.

right to petition the Lord Mayor and Aldermen for a reward.

A letter, dated September the ninth, acquaints me, that the writer being refolved to try his fortune, had fafted all that day; and that he might be fure of dreaming upon fomething at night, procured a handfome flice of bride cake, which he placed very conveniently under his pillow. In the morning his memory happened to fail him, and he could recollect nothing but an odd fancy that he had eaten his cake; which being found upon fearch reduced to a few crumbs, he is refolved to remember more of his dreams another time, believing • Jeremy Lovemore.' from this that there may poffibly be somewhat

of truth in them.

-Mens fine pondere ludit.

The mind uncumber'd plays. INCE I received my friend Shadow's letter, feveral of my correfpondents have been pleafed to fend me an account how they have been employed in fleep, and what notable adventures they have been engaged in during that moonshine in the brain. I fhall lay before my readers an abridgment of fome few of their extravagancies, in hopes that they will in time accuftom themfelves to dream a little more to the purpofe.

One who ftiles himfelf Gladio, complains heavily that his fair one charges him with inconftancy, and does not ufe him with half the kindnefs which the fincerity of his paffion may demand; the faid Gladio having by valour and ftratagem put to death tyrants, enchanters, monsters, knights, &c. without number, and expofed himself to all manner of dangers for her fake and safety. He defires in his postfcript to know, whether, from a conftant fuccefs in them, he may not promife himself to fucceed in her esteem at last.


Another who is very prolix in his narrative writes me word, that having fent a venture beyond fea, he took occafion one night to fancy himfelf gone along with it, and grown on a fudden the richest man in all the Indies. Having been there about a year or two, a guft of wind that forced open his cafement, blew him over to his native country again, where awaking at fix o'clock, and the change of the air not agreeing with him, he turned to his left fide in order to a fecond voyage; but before he could get on fhipboard, was unfortunately apprehended for ftealing a horfe, tried and condemned for the fact, and in a fair way of being executed, if fomebody stepping haftily into his chamber had not brought him a reprieve. This fellow too wants Mr. Shadow's advice, who, I dare fay, would bid him be content to rife after his firft nap, and learn to be fatisfied as foon as nature is,

I have received numerous complaints from feveral delicious dreamers, defiring me to invent fome method of filencing thofe noify flaves whofe occupations lead them to take their early rounds about the city in a morning, doing a deal of mifchief; and working ftrange confufion in the affairs of its inhabitants. Several monarchs have done me the honour to acquaint me, how often they have been hook from their refpective thrones by the ratling of a coach, or the rumbling of a wheelbarrow. And many private gentlemen, I find, have been bawled out of vaft eftates by fellows not worth three-pence. A fair lady was just upon the point of being married to a young, handfome, rich, ingenious nobleman, when an impertinent tinker paffing by forbid the banns; and an hopeful youth who had been newly advanced to great honour and preferment, was forced by a neighbouring cobler to refign all for an old fong. It has been reprefented to me, that those inconfiderable rafcals do nothing but go about diffolving of marriages, and spoiling of fortunes, impoverishing rich and ruining great people, interrupting beauties in the midft of their conquefts, and generals in the course A boisterous peripatetic of their victories. hardly goes through a street without waking half a dozen kings and princes to open their fhops or clean hoes, frequently transforming fcepters into paring fhovels, and proclamations into bills. I have by me a letter from a young statefman, who in five or fix hours came to be Emperor of Europe, after which he made war upon the Great Turk, routed him horse and foot, and was crowned lord of the universe in Conftantinople: the conclufion of all his fucceffes is, that on the 12th inftant, about feven in the morning, his imperial majefty was depofed by a chimney-fweeper.

On the other hand, I have epiftolary testimonies of gratitude from many miferable people, who owe to this clamorous tribe frequent deliverances from great misfortunes. A fmall-coal man, by waking one of thefe diftreffed gentlemen, faved him from ten years imprisonment. An honest watchman bidding a loud good-morrow to another, freed him from the malice of many

many potent enemies, and brought all their defigns against him to nothing. A certain valetudinarian confeffes he has often been cured of a fore throat by the hoarfenefs of a carman, and relieved from a fit of the gout by the found of A noify puppy, that plagued a fober gentleman all night long with his impertinence, was filenced by a cinder-wench with a word fpeaking.

old fhoes.

Inftead therefore of fuppreffing this order of mortals, I would propofe it to my readers to make the best advantage of their morning falutations. A famous Macedonian prince, for fear of forgetting himfelf in the midst of his good fortune, had a youth to wait on him every morning, and bid him remember that he was a man. A citizen who is waked by one of thefe criers, may regard him as a kind of remembrancer, come to admonish him that it is time to return to the circumftances he has overlooked all the night time, to leave off fancying himself what he is not, and prepare to act fuitably to the condition he is really placed in.


People may dream on as long as they pleafs, but I fhall take no notice of any imaginary adventures, that do not happen while the fun is on this fide the horizon. For which reafon I ftifle Fritilla's dream at church laft Sunday, who, while the rest of the audience were enjoying the benefit of an excellent difcourfe, was louing her money and jewels to a gentleman at play, until after a ftrange run of ill luck the was reduced to pawn three lovely pretty children for her laft ftake. When he had thrown them her companion went off, difcovering himfelf by his ufual tokens, a cloven foot and a ftrong imell of brimftone; which laft proved a bottle of fpirits, which a good old lady applied to her nefe, to put her in a condition of hearing the preacher's third head concerning



If a man has no mind to pass abruptly from his imagined to his real circumftances, he may employ himself a-while in that new kind of obfervation which my oneirocritical correfpondent has directed him to make of himfeif. Purfuing the imagination through all its extravagancies, whether in fleeping or waking, is no improper method of correcting and bringing it to a in fubordinacy to reafon, fo as to be delighted only with fuch objects as will affect it with pleasure, when it is never fo cool and fedate.

N° 598. FRIDAY, SEPT. 24.
Famne igitur laudas, quod de fapientibus alter
Ridebat, quoties à limine moverat unum
Protuleratque pedem : fiebat contrarius alter ?
Juv. Sat. 1o. ver. 18.
Will ye not now the pair of fages praife,
Who the fame end purfu'd by feveral ways?
One pity'd, one contemn'd the woeful times;
One laugh'd at follies, one lamented crimes.


The merry part of the world are very amiable, while they diffuse a chearfulness through converfation at proper feasons and on proper occafions, but on the contrary, a great grievance to fociety, when they infect every difcourfe with infipid mirth, and turn into ridicule fuch fubjects as are not fuited to it. For though laughter is looked upon by the philofophers as the property of reafon, the excefs of it has been always confidered as the mark of folly.

On the other fide, ferioufnefs has its beauty whilft it is attended with chearfulness and huma nity, and does not come in unfeasonably to pall the good humour of thofe with whom we converse.

These two fets of men, notwithstanding they each of them shine in their respective characters, are apt to bear a natural averfion and antipathy to one another.


ANKIND may be divided into the merry and the ferious, who, both of them, make a very good figure in the fpecies, fo long as they keep their respective humours from degenerating into the neighbouring extreme; there being a natural tendency in the one to a melancholy morofenefs, and in the other to a fantastic levity.

What is more ufual, than to hear men of serious tempers and auftere morals, enlarging upon the vanities and follies of the young and gay part of the fpecies; while they look with a kind of horror upon fuch pomps and diverfions as are innocent in themselves, and only culpable when they draw the mind too much?

I could not but fmile upon reading a paffage in the account which Mr. Baxter gives of his own life, wherein he reprefents it as a great bleffing, that in his youth he very narrowly escaped getting a place at court.

It muft indeed be confeffed that levity of temper takes a man off his guard, and opens a pafs to his foul for any temptation that affaults it. It favours all the approaches of vice, and weakens all the refiftance of virtue. For which reafon a renowned statesman in queen Elizabeth's days, after having retired from court and public bufinefs, in order to give himself up to the duties of religion, when any of his old friends ufed to vifit him, had ftill this word of advice in his mouth, "Be ferious."

An eminent- Italian author of this caft of

mind, fpeaking of the great advantage of a ferious and compofed temper, wishes very gravely, that for the benefit of mankind he had Trophonius's cave in his poffeffion; which, fays he, would contribute more to the reformation of manners than all the work-houses and Bridewells in Europe,

We have a very particular defcription of this cave in Paufanias, who tells us that it was made in the form of a huge oven, and had many particular circumftances, which disposed the perfon who was in it to be more penfive and thoughtful than ordinary; infomuch, that no man was ever obferved to laugh all his life after, who had once made his entry into this cave. ufual in thofe times, when any one carried a more than ordinary gloominefs in his features, to tell him that he looked like one just come out of Trophonius's cave.

It was

On the other hand, writers of a more merry complexion have been no lefs fevere on the oppofite party; and have had one advantage a bove them, that they have attacked them with more turns of wit and humour.

After all, if a man's temper were at his own difpofal, I think he would not choose to be of either of thefe parties; fince the moft perfe& character is that which is formed out of both of them. A man would neither choose to be a hermit nor a buffoon: human nature is not fo miferable, as that we should be always melan. choly

« VorigeDoorgaan »